Stocks Fluctuated after Jobless Claims Data

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher and turned negative on Thursday after the data that showed U.S. jobless claims were near decade lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately fell 12.16 points, or 0.07%, to 16,272.54. The S&P 500 was down 0.82 points, or 0.04%, to 1,919.21. The Nasdaq Composite fell 20.54 points, or 0.44%, to 4,599.63.

The number of new applications for U.S. jobless benefits rose modestly last week and a gauge of the trend in claims fell, pointing to ongoing tightening in the labor market that could push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 277,000 for the week ended Sept. 26, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Almost 30% of all homes lost value in August from a year earlier, according to real estate company Zillow Group (XNAS:Z), down from a recent high of 65% in January 2009, although a normal housing market would be closer to 20%. Zillow’s report is consistent with other recent housing reports, which indicated that we should expect to see slower market activity for the remainder of the year.

General Motors plans to cut $5.5 billion in manufacturing, purchasing and administrative costs during the next three years, helping to finance a big push into autonomous cars and car- and ride-sharing services.

ConAgra will cut about 1,500 jobs, or approximately 30 percent of its global, office-based workforce, and move its headquarters to Chicago from Omaha, Nebraska, the company said Thursday.

Payment-processing giant First Data Corp. on Thursday said it would raise up to $3.68 billion in its upcoming initial public offering, marking the biggest U.S. listing this year.

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